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Parents often say that their children seemed normal until about one to one and a half years of age at which time they began regressing. This is also the time that children begin to consume a much wider variety of foods. If Spleen qi is deficient, a child will tend to digest foods poorly and will have a propensity to develop phlegm. Many of the behaviors associated with autism are due to phlegm accumulation. One of the primary pathways for phlegm development is deficiency of Spleen qi.

Diet is of paramount importance in the aetiology of autism. All foods that weaken the Spleen and create phlegm are implicated in the development of autism. These include dairy, wheat, raw and cold foods and excessively sweet food. There is controversy surrounding the link between autism and diet in the western community, but CM recognizes diet as an important contributing factor. Food sensitivities and allergies in Chinese medicine may be due to fire toxins in the Small Intestine. This relates to lingering pathogenic factors.


It is essential to eliminate foods that induce dampness and phlegm. By eliminating foods that produce dampness it is possible to strengthen the Spleen qi. A child diagnosed with phlegm heat harassing the Heart, must also eliminate foods that are hot in nature and eat warming foods that have been lightly cooked or steamed. Foods that are considered tonifying or warming include vegetables (particularly root vegetables), legumes, grains and small amounts of animal protein.

Some suggested vegetables include: acorn squash, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, kale, spinach, Swiss chard, collard greens, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, radishes, carrots, button mushrooms, scallions (spring onions), brown rice, white rice, amaranth, millet, barley, quinoa and beans, including lima, navy, adzuki, kidney and lentil beans. Eliminate cold and raw foods this includes foods that are cold physically and cold energetically. Cold foods physically would refer to frozen foods such as popsicles (frozen ice lollies), ice cream and drinks that are heavily iced. Foods that are energetically cold include soy products, dairy, tomatoes and most fruits.  Eliminate damp producing foods: Foods that produce dampness include dairy, sugar, peanuts or peanut butter, fruit, eggs, fried or greasy foods, chilled or frozen foods, wheat and excessive amounts of soy.

Eliminate heat producing foods: Foods that create heat are spicy, hot foods, food additives and preservatives, caffeine and sugar.

Andrea Gurciullo, LAC, MTOM, Dr of Acupuncture studied Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Diego , California and earned the degree of Master of Traditional Oriental Medicine (MTOM) in 1998. Andrea is nationally certified in both Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology by the NCCAOM as well as being state licensed in NY, NJ and Rhode Island.

In addition to owning her own private practice in Garden City NY since 1999 she was an adjunct Professor at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in NY.  She also owned Nutrihost and herbal development company that created and distributed new herbal product lines that combined both Western and Chinese Herbs.

Dr Gurciullo can treat a wide variety of disorders including chronic pain of any etiology, Infertility, gastro intestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, chronic fatigue, smoking and addiction, weight loss and even undiagnosable conditions just to name a few. 

Dr Gurciullo welcomes your phone calls and questions you can call her directly on her cell @ 516-425-4575.  And she is now seeing clients at Atlantic Wellness 422 Atlantic Ave, East Rockaway, NY to book an appointment call 516-568-7788.


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